AUSTIN (KXAN) — Five Austin Police Department officers are on administrative leave after opening fire on a man with a weapon inside a north Austin restaurant Sunday night, according to APD Police Chief Joseph Chacon.
That man, whose name was not released, was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, according to Chacon.
The situation began after a caller at an apartment complex in the 8900 block of North Lamar Blvd. contacted 911 at 9:26 p.m. to report a man wearing some sort of face covering had pointed a weapon at the caller, Chacon said.
Officers began arriving at the scene at 9:34 p.m. but found the man had left the area and was last seen heading northbound. As the 911 caller continued to provide details, officers searched for the man, Chacon said.
At 10:04 p.m., Chacon said a man matching the description given by the caller was found in a restaurant in the 9200 block of North Lamar. After watching the man, officers determined it was the same person they were searching for.
Chacon did not name the restaurant or the apartment complex involved and said officers did see the man had a handgun.
According to the chief, officers tried to get the man to leave the restaurant by giving verbal commands and by using an amplified public address system. The man didn’t comply with those commands, Chacon said.
Officers also tried to notify those inside the restaurant that they needed to evacuate.
“There were many patrons in the restaurant. They were concerned for their safety, and we were trying to get them to be able to evacuate that restaurant and evacuate the area,” Chacon said.
Chacon said at this point it appeared the man was trying to barricade himself inside the restaurant.
Officers continued to try and speak with the man, but at 10:19 p.m., Chacon said officers heard several gunshots coming from inside the restaurant. That’s when officers went into what Chacon called “rescue mode” and entered the building to reach the suspect.
As officers made entry, “multiple officers did fire their department duty weapons,” Chacon said. The man was shot and “went down.”
Officers got the weapon away from the man, Chacon said, and started to give him life-saving measures.
The police chief said no one else was hurt.
Five APD officers fired their guns. All were placed on administrative leave, Chacon said, pending the outcome of a couple of investigations.
There will be a criminal investigation done by the APD Special Investigations Unit alongside the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, as well as an administrative investigation done by APD Internal Affairs and the Office of Police Oversight.
Video of the police shooting, including footage from officers’ body cameras, will be reviewed and released within 10 days as per APD policy, according to Chacon.
The new interim director of the Office of Police Oversight, Sylvia Hardman, was at the press conference early Monday morning alongside Chacon. This comes after the director, Farah Muscadin, resigned about a month ago after making the decision to focus on her growing family and caring for her parents.